PCHR strongly condemns the attempted assassination of a Hamas leader by Israeli occupying forces. The target of the assassination attempt was Sheik Ahmed al Ja’abari. The operation resulted in the death of five Palestinian civilians, including his son, brother, nephew, his son-in-law and one of his friends.
Sheik Ja’abari sustained moderate injuries as did another three people, including a child and another brother of the target, who is described as being in a critical condition. PCHR is deeply concerned at this further escalation in violence by the Israeli occupying forces.
According to PCHR’s preliminary investigations and eyewitness reports, at approximately 00.00 on Wednesday 18th of August 2004, a large explosion occurred in the Diwan, a traditional indoor recreational area near the home where family and friends gather, located in the densely populated Shejiyia neighbourhood in the east of Gaza City.
The Diwan is owned by Sheik Ahmed al Ja’abari, 38, and a prominent Hamas figure who was present with a number of his relatives and friends. The explosion resulted in the death of five people who were named as: Fathy Said al-Ja’abari, 41, brother of the target; Mohammad Ahmed al-Ja’abari, 21, son of the target; Borhan al Ja’abari, 19, a nephew of the target; Salah Abdelkarim al Haiya, 21, son-in-law of the target; Alaa Ali Sharif, 26.
Israeli military sources claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement to the Israeli media. Israeli occupying forces stated that their military aircraft attacked the home of a prominent Hamas leader.
PCHR reiterates its deep concern at the escalation in violence against Palestinian civilians, including extra-judicial executions and willful killings. The Israeli policy of extra-judicial executions is a state sanctioned policy and contravenes international human rights law and international humanitarian law.
PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to comply with their article 1 obligations to “ensure respect” for the Convention and to protect Palestinian civilians.